Sunday, 31 January 2010

Forgiving the devil...

Please excuse the fragmented state and awkwardness of this post.

Its December 2008. Despite having a complete lack of confidence due to the state of my skin at the time, my friends had convinced me that my ego required alcohol and music. Honestly, leaving the safety net of my bedroom was the last thing that I wanted to do. I knew that I needed this, though. In a matter of minutes I had transformed my view of this night from being completely frightful, to being the most important night of my life. I'm aware how drastic this sounds, however, when your mindset is, not set at all, your general response to ANY given situation could be unpredictable. As was mine.

Nobody knows just how long I spent on self grooming that night. In hindsight I was ready to go after around 45 minutes. That was transformed into hours when I saw my own reflection in the mirror, no, the devil. A mirror is simply a sheet of reflective glass that mirrors whatever stands in front of it, thus the name...What I was looking at made me vomit. I knew how I looked, and this wasn't how I envisaged myself. Who the hell was looking back at me? This had to be the work of the devil, and if it was indeed his handy work he had me down to a T.

The guy staring back at me looked as heartbroken as I was.

I straightened my hair numerous times, at least 6. I changed my outfit more times that I can even remember. I brushed my teeth so many times that I must have lost at least one layer of enamel. Anything that I could do to take the attention away from my face I would have done. Obviously my face is my face and hiding it was a battle lost before it had even began. Gingerly, I ventured out.

I arrived at the flat rather late, owing to my obsession with the mirror. In my haste to leave the house I had forgotten to take a manly beer drink and so had to make do with wine. Not the end of the world and, anyway, wine sends me to the land of wobbly legs a lot quicker than any other beverage.
The second the door was opened my heart sank. I was starring at a room full of an awful lot of people. What made it worse was the fact that I didn't know most of them. Oh the confliction that passed through my mind at that moment. Do I leave? I desperately want to leave! Am I willing to fail? I'm already here now I can't just go.

In the end my privilege to choose was taken away as I was ushered inside.

One thing that I find amazing is how you can categorically convince yourself that everyone in a room is collectively starring straight at you because of your own insecurities. Truthfully everyone that I hadn't had the pleasure of meeting were starring straight through me like I'd never even arrived and that suited me perfectly.

A sense of freedom came over me. There I was having fun with some of my best friends in the world. Would I dare feel it? I did... I felt comfortable.
For around an hour I sat with huge smile cutting a gaping hole in my face. Everyone, myself included, was a little inebriated. When the alcohol kicks in there will always be (and there indeed was) one person who wants to be a little ambitious. So it was suggested that we all played a game. Me, my friends and everyone who I had hoped I would stay invisible to.

Exactly what game we played that night evades my memory. It involved us all sitting in a circle and giving a brief profile, if you will, of who we were. Luckily I was the first person to go, so I didn't have to wait. I'm not sure if I would've handled the pressure of waiting my turn. Surprisingly, it went rather well. A few jokes were made by myself, and few at my expense. But all in all I felt liked.

Along comes Ruth, by no means am I referring to my friend Ruth. This...person was nothing but my friend. This person will never be my friend.

Initially I found Ruth to be witty and humorous, we even exchanged a few jokes and shared in some banter, which resulted in an attempt, on her part, to chase me around the flat. I clearly managed to handle my frame with much more ease as I managed to bolt for the bedroom before she could even move. I shut the door and put a doorstop under it. I had escaped, thank God!

Or had I escaped?

Ruth (I hate that her name is Ruth because my Ruth is an angel) seemed to take exception to the inoperable door that I had placed in front of her. She proceeded to kick it a few times in vein.

Then she said the words.

"You're just a spotty twat."

And that was it.

I was thinking it, my mirror was definitely thinking it and everyone else was clearly thinking it.

Was my mirror the devil? No. Ruth was, and if she wasn't, she was certainly doing his dirty work. I didn't know this person and yet she felt empowered enough to say those words to me. Words that echo around the caves, that were once filled with my confidence, ever since.

To this day that moment still defines who I am. I had a choice. If I so wanted I could have retaliated to those words; believe me I wanted to retaliate. There was a time when I would have done so before she had even opened her trap. I credit myself with enough creativity to utilise one of her characteristics in a hurtful way. But I didn't want to hurt her. Instead I removed the door stop, left the flat and walked home, back to my safety net.

Usually that is where I can still be found. Wrapped up nicely in my safety net; hiding in my bedroom where the only person who can hurt me is myself. That has been the case for too long now.

Ruth won't even know what she did to me that night. Being the character that she was I have my doubts as to whether she would care if she did know. Perhaps old Uncle Karma should pay her a visit instead of sitting at my doorstep?

At no point did I feel hatred towards her even though many would. Every ounce of hatred that I had was directed towards myself. Please bare in mind that this was 2008. I am in a different place now. I am learning to love myself a little more all the time (and I don't mean with my right hand).
The realisation that I should have probably hated her, even if just a little, has reached me far too late. I have decided that I most certainly do not have the effort available validate her, Ruth, The Devil, with hatred when I need to focus on repairing the damage that she has done because she's kept me awake almost every single night since.

And so I forgive the devil and move on.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Story time...

You tell me that you want me back, that you love me and you always have and always will.

The same frivolous words fell from your lips two weeks ago...
Leaving me on new years eve, just hours before the new year sets in was, in itself, a kick in the gut. But to then feel the need to play with my emotions by telling me you wanted me back, allowing me to consider it and then revoking everything that you had said by simply stating,
"I'm sorry, I didn't want you back really, I was confused," well that was as equally cowardly as sending me a text message to end it in the first place.

You are a coward.

And now, now you call me at 4am.
Now you act surprised that I don't answer the call?
Now that the story you wanted to pursue hasn't ended well, you want to pick up where we left off?

Sometimes I may be a little easy to read but I can assure you that I am most certainly not a book! I cannot and will not be placed on the top shelf with all the other old books, just in case you fancy another read. From now on, as far as you are concerned, my pages are blank from cover to cover. There's nothing left for you here.

If, by some strange miracle, I woke up tomorrow and discovered that I had indeed been transformed into a book, my blurb would read as follows:

"The life of a young man who, for years, has made the wrong decisions, is about to change.
Follow Craig Harris as he leaves his troubles behind him and shows the world that he has more than just potential.
Once more, its time to love in the right places."

Sounds like a bit of a chick flick to be honest, I assure you its not. Its a new manly book about me turning my life around. :) (maybe I should really write a book, obviously not about myself - that would be the best hobby ever!)

I can't wait to get my teeth into this new story, I'm already just a matter of pages into it and I know that I want to read forever. This time I will read forever (it's going to be even longer than war and peace!) You see, people (myself included) will always say that they've learnt their lessons, that they're sorry and it will never happen again. This would not be the first time that I have said this. However this time there is a sincere difference.
Somehow, unbelievably, I managed to edge myself to the end of a road. A road where friendships end. Friendships that have not run their course yet because their course has no end. I'd never walked so far down this road in the past.

Every single one of my friends is beautiful to me. To think that I almost cost myself even one of these friendships makes me resent myself a little. For each friendship that nearly escaped me my resentment towards myself increases a little.

This time I'm not going anywhere.

And this brings me back to you. I partly blame you for putting a distance between me and my friends. Knowing full well that I didn't want to leave the house without you, owing to my anxiety issues, you would refuse to come out. Despite my constant efforts to be friends with your friends, your efforts to keep me away from mine were equally constant.
To accuse me and my best friend of having any kind of relationship behind your back, was obscene. Using this as an excuse to never see my friends was, again, obscene.

Part of me wants you to read this, part of me has forgotten your name.

Either way,

This story is over.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

The bus theory...

So you wait, for what seems like a lifetime, for a bus that clearly isn't going to turn up. I'm not speaking metaphorically here, I was actually waiting for a bus.

Isn't the theory supposed to be that you could wait an hour for a bus and then two would arrive together? Please believe me when I say that even that would've been a blessing today. But no, an hour after arriving at the bus stop there was still no bus to be seen, despite the signs insisting that their 'service' ran every 15-20 minutes.
Needless to say that eventually I gave up waiting and walked half way to work before catching, what can only be described as a very questionable, alternative driven by a polish man with the blackest moustache I have ever seen.

Diamond Buses received a complaint for making me late for work :)


Don't you think that it's amazing just how you can't let some things go? Even when you thought that you had such a long time ago. It just takes one moment. To realise that someone from your past is feeling uncertainty and perhaps even pain reignites something. I don't know what it is. Is it a flare of guilt? For helping walk you down the path that has ultimately lead you to this point? Maybe.
Is it an ache to know that you're OK even though I'm too scared to really ask? Yes. And All I know for certain is that I feel your pain when you feel it, even if I shouldn't. I wish that only I could feel it, I wish that I could wish your troubles away.

I've put a word in with the big man upstairs. When my time on this beautiful planet is done I will be your guardian. I'm guessing they will have to give me some sort of training but I think I would make a splendid guardian, criminal record aside.

...I am certain you're bus will turn up....

Monday, 25 January 2010

What are you wearing???

Such an interesting question, one that usually elicits a less than savoury response from the masses. In this instance, and in line with my 'lets try to keep this clean' policy I set in my first post, this question is not to be interpreted in that context.

So why am I asking? Well, I ask for one simple reason; because it gives me an excuse to let you know what I am wearing, which is THE biggest smile!

I guess you could say that I had, what most people would call, a quiet drink with friends. I call it a breakthrough.
You see, not only did I (once again!) muster up the courage to go sit in a public place. I actually managed it without feeling the need to cover my face with a scarf. OK, if I want to be completely truthful I totally felt the need to cover my face. But the important thing is that my face was completely uncovered the whole time!

Well done me! I really am giving myself cause to be proud lately.

Tonight was about so much more than just going for drinks with friends. Tonight could represent the start of something. Tonight could represent the start of my new life. I want to go places, I want to meet people. I want to have the confidence to meet people!
Tonight more than ever, I honestly feel that my 'return', if you will, is imminent. However, I'm not kidding myself. So many times I have felt this good only to have it thrown back in my face (quite literally the face) But right now I'm on cloud nine!

So I've reignited my dream, for now. My capacity for learning is far from satisfied and I have always longed to go into further education. Is university my calling? Even a local establishment that I don't even have to move to?

I do hope so.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Gentleman's Headbutt.

Despite the time shown at the bottom of this blog, which I believe to be the current time over yonder in the USA, I am actually writing this at 02:00am exactly. Normally that wouldn't be important but the real time has relevance to this post.

You see, my friend just returned home from, what sounds like, an epic night of alcohol consumption! The kind of night I miss. Mainly I can't understand a single thing that he's talking about, not that I ever really could anyway! Sometimes he just likes to talk, which results in some very interesting conversations!

Typically CJ (I don't actually call him CJ, I'm just abbreviating for the sake of this blog) will play numerous drinking games on his merry outings. Tonight was no different. He has just described to me a game called 'Gentleman's Headbutt'. Sound interesting? Well if you would like to play the rules are ever so simple;

2.WHEN YOU SAY YOU'VE HAD ENOUGH (or when you get brain damage) YOU'RE OUT.

Still want to play?

OK, so I really have no interest at all in bruising the inners of my skull, but hearing CJ talking about his nights out really makes me wish I was there with him, partly for the actual fun of having a night out. But mostly because I would like to see him.

Over the years I always noticed that I never really managed to fit in with guys, they always seemed uncomfortable around me, or unsure of me. A lot of them openly didn't like me. But not with CJ. I can still remember the first words we ever said to each other outside the science room of 7JR. Instantly I liked him. Little did I know then that 10 years later he'd be the only person on the planet with a penis that really understood me..or even slightly understood me.

I'm lucky enough to know a few people who I describe as my best friend. But because he is the only member of the male species yet to turn his back on me, I guess he's special.

Basically, what I have just done is capture several paragraphs of complete nonsense, when all I really want to say is...

I miss my best friend.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

For she's a jolly good fellow...

...That unfortunately I'll have to deny.

Today is my mother's Birthday, the distance between the two of us clearly highlighted by the fact that I completely forgot and further enhanced by my lack of knowledge as to just how old she is.

And she is old, both of my parents are. Dad turned 60 in September. Can that be right? Life without my dad would be...will be...I don't even have a finale for that sentence. I know that ultimately I will open my eyes in the morning and all that will remain of him will be my own reflection and memories. I'm equally as petrified that, being a few years older, dad will pass long before mom; the woman who put this family in jeopardy, who has no respect for me and earns no respect from me, the woman who has caused the rest of our family to shun us. Is it Gods plan for me to be left alone in this world with this woman?

Strange how, in the celebration of someones life, it is so easy to contemplate death.

Old Uncle Karma seems to have his campsite well and truly setup right now. Oddly enough he hasn't spoken with me just yet, I know he's hiding around here somewhere, though. My first clue being the breaks on my car going. He always seems to target my car. He doesn't mind that lessons have already been learnt, or that punishments have already been dished out. He will only be content when the universe is balanced once more and who decides when the universe is balanced?

Everyone would like to think of themselves as a good friend, nobody likes to admit that they are wrong. This is my time to hold my hands up and admit that my flaws have seeped into pastures they should have never even had sight of. These are the pastures that have, for years, offered me shelter from storms that would have destroyed me otherwise. I have allowed my own personal turmoil to affect every single friendship that I hold dear. For that I can not be anymore apologetic.

I speak to KW for 30 seconds and a smile breaks out on my face.

I am going to change. I am the friend that you all deserve, and I will show it!
Plus its in writing now, so that's a contract, right?
I'll sign with a cross on my heart.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010


...Uncle Anxiety has managed to get a key, I'm not sure what door this key opens, clearly I have some kind of emergency exit somewhere that isn't being used in line with standard emergency procedure. Therefore, I have today made a conscious decision; I'm changing the locks and this time there will be no spare keys. Unfortunately Uncle Anxiety is going to have to sit out in the cold. Now if only I could find that door....

I'm not a disciple, and you are not Jesus.
So why are you preaching to me?
Its boring.

I say this not out of lack of respect for you, but because my ears are exhausted from hearing the 'right way to live YOUR life'. The fact that you have made the life choice to travel somewhere to live for an extended period of time, partially supported by the taxes that I contribute, is indeed a life experience, but does that give you the right to question my choices? Each to their own my friend. We are all equal in this world;
Never look down on anybody unless you're helping him up.

For now I think the lid should be placed, and sealed, firmly on that can of worms. After all, they don't taste too good.

Do you believe in luck? Some people say that they don't and that they make their own luck. To those people I say that you have to believe in luck to make your own. Myself, I'm still undecided as to whether luck, or the lack of it, is distributed fairly across mankind. I would hazard a guess that it most certainly isn't. Those brave souls in Haiti each deserve a medal just for braving each sunrise at the moment.

It almost seems selfish to think about what I consider a problem after reflecting on the tragic circumstances in Haiti, but this is still my space. I'm allowed to be a little self indulgent here.

Since I was Seventeen years old I have been plagued. Every year, maybe not as regular as clockwork, but at least as regular as the earth orbits the sun, he's just always there. He is not my friend and I don't wish to see him anymore, regardless of how I know I deserve this, all of this. Please leave me alone....
...Old Uncle Karma.

Don't you just hate it when the annoying members of your family come to visit?

Now I'm no chef but...

Take one regular guy, stir well with lashings of underachievement. Add a pinch of disappointment, a dash of aspiration and finally a sprinkle of excessive quirk. Bake at gas mark 6 for twenty two years and serve luke warm with a teaspoon, no, we should probably make it a tablespoon, of sarcasm.

And Here I am.

Craig Harris. This space is mine, feel free to visit anytime but please remember to take your shoes off before I show you around. I'm already filthy minded as it is, and I'm planning to keep this as 'out of the gutter' as I possibly can.

Read without judgement if you will.

They call me Haggis. 'They' being pretty much everyone I know, sometimes including myself. I was first branded with this...Name? When I was around 10 years old. Ironically this was bestowed upon me by a young fellow who, at the time, was affectionately known to all as 'the hump'. Its odd how he managed to affect my entire life, and yet we haven't crossed paths for years.

Why am I here?
This blog, moving forwards, is to be my proverbial shoulders, where I plan to keep all of my worries, my thoughts, or anything I want. Because these are my shoulders. What? Do you want a piggy back? That's fine with me, just remember who's doing the carrying!

I suffer from anxiety. No, let me rephrase; I experience anxiety. By no means do I suffer. So every now and again I get a little hysterical, so what? There's people who are genuinely suffering, and it doesn't matter what they're suffering from. The point is; who am I to claim any part of their world, when they don't wish to claim the world themselves!? Point made.

Hopefully this blog will help me overcome, anything that represents an obstacle for me? Maybe I'll vent a bit of frustration every now and again? Maybe this is the type of blog where you should substitute the word 'Maybe' with the words 'of course' more often than not. :)


2010 is here! Have I really lived in 4 decades? If your definition of living is breathing and functioning as a human being, then yes I have. But have I really lived? It doesn't feel like it. In fact I feel like I've held myself back ever since I got my first pair of shoes that allowed me to walk my own path!

This new decade has to be different. I need it to be! I want to grow as a person and I feel the only way to do that is to push myself... To do anything that won't kill me!
I saw a film a few weeks ago called 'YES MAN' and it inspired me. OK I'm not looking to participate in anything that presents itself to me...because maybe I don't want to swim naked in a muddy canal, but my eyes will more open to opportunities that present themselves to me.

This year is going to be mainly about confidence. To abbreviate as best I can, I have no confidence at the moment. I struggle sometimes. Going to the shop, going to work and more importantly going to see my friends, are all tasks I can barely muster the courage to complete.

Courage - its such an honourable word. Many may feel that I'm belittling the true meaning of the word itself by saying that I need courage to go shopping. To anybody sporting that opinion I would argue that there are certain words that have no meaning, unless the meaning is found on an individual basis. So yes, courage does have an official generic meaning (i guess they have to give it one so that it can appear in the dictionary) but to me Courage means being able to walk past strangers with my head up; it means being able to be outside of my own home without covering my face with a scarf; it means talking to anyone face to face; sometimes it means picking myself up and getting out of bed in the morning.

I will be more confident. I have had confidence in the past. I know it will come. I also know that if I repeat the previous statement to myself time and time again I may one day start to believe it!

I actually made a new friend today. Lucy. Who oddly enough didn't care that I had my face covered, or that I was blushing incessantly as she spoke to me. She put me at ease enough for me to actually have a conversation with her. The smile I've been wearing on my face ever since is my gold medal. Well done me :)

Poetry? I miss my poetry. I used to write a lot. My poems are my art and every single one is a tribute to 'The George'. In my eyes the greatest man to have graced Gods green earth, I'm proud to call him my grandfather and equally as delighted that we managed to share some of our lives together. This year I will start writing again, and every word that I manage to ink into every piece of paper will belong to my grandad. I do miss you an awful lot grandad. I still have your promise, I'm going to make one soon.

I hate my job at the moment. I've supposedly done myself proud by earning a place on the FSA Compliance & Admin team. Apparently I work on THE team. We're in charge of a multi-million pound project. And its exciting!!! Wait, it should be exciting. Why isn't it? Let me tell you something about the FSA Compliance & Admin team. This is a small group of incredibly dedicated individuals, some dedicated enough to take a pay cut to join their department (of which i am one of these people). I've honestly never seen a team of people work so hard, at times! But then we flip the coin...There are times when we have no work to do, and we're unable to help our colleagues with their work because 'that's not what they're paying us to do'...So rather than earn my wage I have found myself sitting on my backside this week, waiting for the day to end. Fab.
Then there's the mentality of 'I've got to be better than everyone' that certain people carry. This has led to people taking credit for other people's work, and people taking the blame for other peoples mistakes. Some of the people that have adopted this mentality are apparently management prospects.

If becoming a manager means walking all over people, then I don't have what it takes. Because I'm sad enough to care.

Luckily for me I happen to have the most faithful and wonderful network of friends in the world! A friend told me not so long back that the REAL friends will still be there, no matter what. I know its a cliche but its so true. And I can honestly say that I have 6 people not far away who won't let me fall to the depths of 'rock bottom'. In fact I think they completely removed 'Rock Bottom' from my world.
In general, I have felt very low lately, but I can feel a subtle sense of 'rallying' around me. And its left me feeling uplifted more often than I expected. Its a tribute to how amazing some of the people in my life are :)

So, 2010, be gentle with me for now.

This dish may be a little questionable right now, but is by no means well within its sell by date.

Seasoning Required :)